Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Speedometer 55 version 1.9.3 - now in the AppStore!

Main focus of version 1.9.3 are important optimizations for iOS 12.2, new features based on barometric pressure sensor, new evidence camera tool and evolution of work with waypoint images.

Optimizations for iOS 12.2 (Free + Full version)


iOS 12.2 brings a lot of opportunities to optimize the apps. The app takes advantage of this for:
  • Faster app startup
  • Smaller memory footprint. Especially important for the Full/PRO version to take as small memory as possible when it stays working in the background.
  • Smaller download size
To enjoy all of these benefits, it is enough to have iOS 12.2 or higher on your iPhone and having the latest version of the app.

Paragliding mode (Full version)


This new mode is available via MENU > MODES > Paragliding mode. 

Paragliding screen includes the map, arrow to target, horizontal and vertical speeds, options for barometric altitude or height (QFE and QNH), compass. Here is the look:

Paragliding mode is built upon Ollivier P. suggestions and huge thanks to Ollivier for his ideas and also testing this mode in the air.

For paragliding, Ollivier needed to have more options for the altitude, having barometric pressure options for altitude above sea and height above an air field. Plus having Vertical speed indicator without loosing the compass bit.

Paragliding mode enables all of this.

"Mountain" icon left to the altitude readings is now a button (#1), so you can configure barometric altitude or height options.

Created for this mode "BARO VSI + Compass" panel (#2) shows vertical speed plus compass.

Hope this will come handy for the paragliding season of year 2019!

Barometric altitude indicator (Full version)


Version 1.9.3 adds options for showing altitude and height based on a barometric sensor readings. In addition of being an aid in airborne  activities, it gives ability to measure the height of buildings/towers/hills with that. Calibrate to 0 at the bottom, climb/elevate to the top and see the relative height to the calibration point.

In the small map screen (MENU > Modes > Map mode) mountain icon left to the altitude label is now a button:


Tap on a "mountain" button to open options for this altitude indicator:

In addition to showing GPS altitude above sea level (#1), you can now show altitude (#2) and height (#3) that are based on a barometric pressure. Given your device has a barometric sensor (all recent devices do).
To show altitude or height based on barometric pressure you need to establish a reference between pressure and altitude. 

Altitude indicator menu offers an option to use current GPS altitude and air pressure as a reference (#5) or you can use "Set complete altitude/pressure reference" option (#4) to setup arbitrary correspondence between altitude and pressure:
Calibration options include setting altitude and corresponding to it Surface (QFE) or Mean sea-level pressure (QNH). 

I hope I studied enough to assign QFE and QNH abbreviations correctly here :). You can always write me to stan@bblocoware.com and I'll be happy to fix any injustice to aviation terms and functions.

If you pick a barometric source of altitude or height, altimeter indicator will give you a hint, saying BARO ALT or BARO HGTH:


The BARO part will turn red and start blinking when barometric reference will become older than 2 hours. Altimeter indicator menu will also warn you on the need to re-establish the reference.

This is it for the barometric additions in version 1.9.3! I may rework all other altitude indicators to be as smart as this one, though not sure I should. Let me be driven by your feedback.

New tool - evidence photo camera (Free + Full versions)


I hope you might find this addition useful when you need to take evidence photos with location, direction and optional notes. This work was on the path to the video overlaid with location/speed data, so please bear with me, video will be coming as well ...

You'll find a new camera button inside a "New waypoint" menu item. This button opens a camera screen that allows you to take photos with location, date and notes overlay:



Settings button in this camera screen will open settings that are specific to the camera capture and location/date overlay.

Feature set:
  • Optional automatic saving to photo library as original and/or stamped photo.
  • Annotating stamped/original photo by free hand drawings:
  • 4 fields available for optional notes.
  • Original photo is kept with a point and can be re-stamped at any moment with different notes/annotation.
  • Image notes are kept separately, shown in the points list and you can search/filter by them.
  • Import of photos from photo library, decoding location data in them, adding as points and enabling stamping them with note/annotation/location.

Evolution of work with images/photos (Full version)

  • In the points list you can open full screen image preview by tapping on it in the point row, no need to open the point itself to access the image:
  • Opening photo from photo library in point editor will offer options to apply location, title and note data from the photo.
  • You can export/save save waypoint photo/image to the photo library, send by email, save to dropbox/files - no more lock in and no need to use point export for sharing the image.
  • When you change notes on the point's photo or re-take the photo for the point, the app will offer to apply new photo location/title/note to the waypoint.
  • Tap on a point on a map with open a menu with the image preview, if point has an image attached:

  • This menu will also show a point and image notes. Tap on an image preview to open the full screen preview of an image where you can add annotations or edit image notes.

Bug fixes (Free + Full version)

    • Fixed access to black box raw data via MENU > Black box > View raw data. No need anymore to use a longer workaround of MENU > Black box > Visualize and explore > Action button > View raw data.
    • Fixed interpreting values with 3 decimal places in the cost editor for cultures with "." as a thousands separator (e.g. Spain). This was leading to 1.555 being 1555. Now fixed.
    • Fixed pace label in the location dashboard not switching to different unit when imperial/metric/nautical unit is picked in the settings. (Pace label is shown in place of compass when compass is shown in the micro panel).
    • Fixed time and date indicators not reacting on crossing different time zones. This also fixes cases when you just change iPhone's time manually.
    • Fixed active "track tail" not being shown when you start track via Siri command and the app was not running at all prior to a command. Now app starts, acquires location and only then creates a start point for a track.
    • Fixed waypoints from a non-default collection being shown after imported waypoints in the recent points list, even if these waypoints would be updated/edited more recently.
    • Fixed occasional crash when user might close the waypoint editor screen before finishing the audio note recording for a waypoint. Now in such case recording is cancelled.
        + Made size of buttons for controlling and reset of extra data in full or hud screen 1.5x wider.
        + Overall performance improvements



    This is it for version 1.9.3! The app evolution continues and I'm working on the next version.
    -----
    Special thanks to Manuel B., Flavio, Ollivier, Gilbert, Bill T., Miles, Randy, Bruno and all testers who are taking the app for a spin when it is still in its beta! A deep bow of respect and gratefulness from me, Thank you guys!

    Thursday, January 17, 2019

    GPS Camera 55 - version 1.3 is in the App Store!

    What's new?

    Apple Watch companion app.


    Apple Watch app enables remote control of a camera shutter button. As simple as this:


    To trigger the shutter, the app on iPhone should be running and having its main/camera screen open.

    Camera grid


    Version 1.3. adds a 3x3 grid option. If you need a grid, say YES to it in Settings > Capture settings > Other overlays section.

    Option to hide entire bottom comments overlay


    New option allows to hide the bottom notes overlay in its entirety. Settings > Capture settings > Notes overlay section.

    Date only options for the timestamp field


    Now you can pick from a few date only formats for the timestamp. Settings > Capture settings > Notes overlay section, Timestamp row.

    Bruno, magician from Germany suggested this feature and here is a sample that uses German long date format:

    Thank you, Bruno! Wishing you many great tricks and magic ahead!

    Color options for overlay texts and background


    Now you can customize both background and text colors for the camera overlays:

    To configure colors of your choice, open settings and scroll down to the "Overlay colors" section:

    If you want to return to either original text or background colors, please use "Reset" buttons in the corresponding setting rows.

    As for the color picker, both HSB:

    and RGB pickers are available:

    Please keep in mind that overlay background has some transparency set - thus the background color will be always be a bit "pale" in the color picker.

    Thanks to Jerry for his request to add this feature.


    P.S. My own favorite for the overlay text and background colors are black & white:


    Speedometer 55 - beta version 1.9.3

    Beta version 1.9.3 is now available to beta testers. Here is what's new in the beta version:

    New options for images and photos:
    • Camera button inside a NEW WAYPOINT menu item allows to take photos overlayed with location, date and notes.
    • "Waypoint images can be stamped with location, date, note, shared separately or saved into photo library.
    • 'Select All' option when selecting multiple waypoints.
    • "Tap on a waypoint on a map will show a small image preview if waypoint has an image attached. Tap on an image to open its full screen preview with options to annotate and add notes.
    More to be added!

    Complete beta version information:


    Wednesday, December 5, 2018

    GPS Camera 55 - new iPhone/iPad app in our portfolio


    GPS Camera 55 allows you to take photos stamped with location, direction, altitude, address and notes. Turn your iPhone/iPad into ultimate field survey or evidence camera!

    Main app screen is a camera with location and notes/address overlay:



    You can either save photos automatically on capture with options to copy original/stamped photo into the photo library. Or you can open captured photo in the preview to annotate/comment on it:



    Sharing option to highlight is saving multiple images as a PDF report:



    Of course all standard sharing options as email, facebook, saving to Files or Dropbox are included as well.

    Facebook page fb.me/cameragps55

    Send messages to the app Facebook page at m.me/cameragps55


    Preview on Youtube

    Saturday, September 29, 2018

    Speedometer version 1.9 is in the AppStore! What's new?

    PRO version was released on 27th of September 2018 and free version will follow in 1 week or 10 days time.

    Optimized for iOS 12. (FREE + PRO)


    Version 1.9 is built with iOS 12 SDK to take advantage of all performance optimizations that iOS 12 provides. Tested for iPhone Xs and Xs Max.

    Voice coach. (PRO)


    When enabled and configured, voice coach will be telling you active track distance and duration as well as current speed and altitude.

    In the current version, voice coach is only running when GPS track is being recorded. This ensures that coach provides exact and reliable information, for app running either in foreground or background.

    App gives a hint if coach is enabled or disabled (by default). When you tap on a MENU button, hint is on top of the "NEW TRACK" button:


    Until you start a new track, this is just a label and to access voice coach configuration you can delve into Advanced Settings > Voice coach.

    Once GPS track recording is running, this hint becomes a button:

    Tapping on it will open voice coach settings:


    Let me stop here with the coach and progress to the next feature added. You can read more on a coach here: Voice coach.

    (PRO) Siri shortcuts for tracking and speed limits help to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road! + give you more than 8 speed limits!


    In iOS 12, app donates Siri Shortcuts for starting and stopping GPS tracking and for speed limits:



    Really only starting with Siri shortcuts in this release and all ideas and suggestions are welcome! More to come.

    To let the app donate shortcuts to Siri:

    Start and stop a track > this will donate Siri a New Track and Stop Track shortcuts.
    Apply speed limits by tapping on speed limit presets > this will donate a "Speed limit X" shortcut to Siri for every speed limit X preset that you tap. 
    Try some "NO LIMIT" taps. This will donate "NO LIMIT" shortcut.

    You might need to tap 2-3 times sometimes to let Siri add the shortcut to the app settings (iPhone settings > Speedometer > Siri & Search > Shortcuts). 

    Now locate speedometer settings in the iPhone wide settings screen, #1 in the image above. Tap on a '+' in the "Suggested shortcuts" section (#2) and assign your own voice command to these shortcuts. Selected shortcuts will move into section #3 and you'll be able to command "Hey Siri" + voice command that you chose for each of the shortcuts.

    Hint! Each shortcut you save is going to be persisted for good. If you need more than 8 speed limits, just configure preset(s) with different values -> tap -> add new speed limit command from suggestions section to Your saved Siri commands. This gives you ability to create as many "voice speed limit presets" as you need! A great reason to love Siri even more!

    Barometric vertical speed indicator - VSI (PRO).


    A new option for the iPod panel. Gives ability to measure vertical speed based on a built in barometer (present in iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and later). In iPhone's portrait orientation shows a graph, giving a bit of a history view over values:




    In landscape orientation provides an instantaneous VSI scale:


    Units provided are ft/min, meters/min, meters/second. Tap above unit label to set.
    Scales provided are 10x, 100x, 1000x for meters and feet per second, 0.1, 1, 10 for meters/second.

    Use 3 dots button on top or left side to get more information on this panel or switch to a different panel. You can also switch between these small panels by swiping on them left/right in iPhone's portrait orientation and up/down in landscape.

    Please note that as with all barometers, readings will lag a bit (1-3 seconds). I was trying for a day to apply some filters to the readings until I understood that Apple already applies them. So in the end I'm just using the values as they come from Apple.

    Cancel map centering mode by simply moving the map (FREE + PRO).


    New options should come handy when you just want to quickly peek for the traffic/jams around. No need to tap on any buttons anymore, just start moving the map. Centering mode will be cancelled and you can explore move the map without it being re-centered to your location. RE-CENTER button will be shown on top, to allow returning back to a centering with one tap:



    Please note the small arc to the left of the "RE-CENTER" text. This is for the extra option you have - ability to return to centering mode after you stopped moving the map.

    By default, map now cancels the centering mode when you start moving it and you need to tap on "Re-Center" button to return back to the centering mode. To change this back to the original settings or allow the map to cancel centering mode automatically please visit common map settings, down to the bottom:




    Please note that automatic return to centering will be cancelled when you start to do more with the map than just moving it around. The moment you tap on some button or waypoint, this automatic return will be cancelled, giving you the uninterrupted way to continue working with the map.

    Reworked sound volume control in built in iPod (FREE + PRO)


    As Apple obsoleted from iOS 11.4 the old way how sound volume is being set, I used this opportunity to bring you a completely reworked sound volume control:


    Now when you tap on a volume control button in built in iPod you can control the volume as always, plus see the current master sound volume level, the sound route description (where music/sound goes) and change the sound routing as well. Left top settings button in this menu will open detailed sound settings screen which will help you troubleshoot and work around ANY sound environment in your car or helmet.

    Google map option for all map screens (FREE + PRO).


    Until now Google map was only available for the main map screen - all other map screens used either Apple or Custom/Offline maps. This update brings Google map as the first class citizen to all map screens:

    Waypoint editor, Track view, Black box, Trip tracks.

    Only one feature that Google map doesn't support - coloring tracks by speed or altitude. You'll have to switch to Apple or Custom/Offline maps to use this feature, as before.

    Tiny, but hopefully useful compass on all maps. More options for the "navigate - search/browse" button. (FREE + PRO).


    While unifying all maps in the app, it was important to provide a unified map compass experience as well. Here is how this tiny map compass looks:


    As part of this work I also changed the default behavior of the button that compass is shown around. Previously this button would just switch between "navigate" mode - when map would follow your location and direction of travel and "search/browse" mode - when you can search on the map, browse and create/edit objects. 

    By default, this button now opens options for showing/hiding objects on a map, plus switching between "navigate" and "search/browse" mode:



     If you think that old way of switching between navigate and search/browse modes was more convenient, you can use map settings to revert the behavior to a one tap switch:



    Option to edit/move waypoint directly on the main screen (PRO).



    In map search/browse mode, tap on a waypoint to reveal new option: Move:




    Now you can move the map until red arrow points to the new waypoint location:



    Screen elements to highlight here:

    #1 - Waypoint that is being edited.
    #2 - Red line from the original waypoint location to the new location.
    #3 - Red arrow (in map center) showing new waypoint location.
    #4 - Waypoint course/angle button. Shows/hides waypoint course/angle editor. In the image above course/angle editor is a gray circle around the new waypoint location. Tap anywhere in that gray circle to set waypoint approach angle/course. Tapping on this button #4 will hide the angle editor.
    #5 - New in version 1.9 - geo coded address of a map center.

    Bottom left red arrow button also gives you more options from version 1.9:

    - Move to the current location
    - Show/hide red arrow (map center) details. Red arrow details are: coordinates, distance from the current location, map or red arrow angle, geo coded address.

    Use Cancel or Done buttons to cancel or confirm the waypoint move.

    Option for showing whole current track on the main map (PRO)


    Whole currently being recorded track can be shown on the main map (Google, Apple, blank and offline). As always, you can "pin" any previously recorded track to the main map (light blue), while current track will be shown in red and in its entirety:


    By default this option is off. To enable, open common map settings and you'll find new options down to the bottom:


    New in version 1.9 is also ability to hide the "tail" completely. If you choose to show the tail, option to show the whole currently being recorded track as a tail will be available.

    Units of measurement - REWORK + Independent units for altitude (PRO)

      My theoretical physics teacher used to say - "Establish system of coordinates first and units of measurements". All the places in the app where units of measurements would not be shown have been adjusted to show them. E.g., trip stats:


      Same applies to degrees or mils in compass/course.

      And if you take a look at trip stats above - it shows feet for a pretty long distance. This is now possible due to a completely new units of measurement settings:


      By default, everything stays as you used it to be. BUT, you have a lot of new options now!

      You can set when feet or meters should switch to miles (or nautical miles) and kilometers. Feet or meters can be used for altitude totally independently on other units. And for measuring on the map, length & areas - you can pick independent units again. More on measuring lengths and areas ahead! :)

      If you are like John from US, who wrote me "Stan, I need to keep the app measuring/tracking in feet as this is what I'm using for everything on my farm" - then these new options are for you.

      Custom colors for fields in HUD and Full screen, and more (PRO)


      Full and HUD screens are reworked in version 1.9 to show name of field and unit of measurement for each of the extra fields:


      "+" button (#2) gives you a hint that you can add an extra field here. Tap on a "+" to add a field.

      Once you assigned what you want to see in the particular field, blue hint button #1 will give options for the field:



      When current distance counter is selected as an extra field, its options will include resetting the counter.

      Color of each extra field in hud/full screen can be now adjusted by "Set color" button in the field menu.

      Bill (CA) initiated these changes by his request to be able to change extra fields colors so they are more visible during flying.

      "Photo GPX" track export option (PRO)


      This was initiated by David from UK and grand thanks to him for providing the requirements and also testing in Lightroom. David also kindly put a document together to describe how it all works in practice:


      "Photo GPX" export options ensures that you'll have a time/location sample per each second in the output GPX. Why it would not happen by itself? Imagine GPS would not be available for some time, and the app as well optimizes the track recording by filtering out some points to keep the track size smaller (Can be configured in Advanced Settings > GPS Tracking > Optimize recording).

      You can find this option between current track export options: 

      Select multiple waypoints to delete or export (PRO)


      Use "Select" button in the waypoints list screen to enable multiple waypoints selection:



      Pick waypoints:

      And use right bottom delete button to delete or export the selected points.

      Love for magnetic declination (PRO)

      Making it clear for both true and magnetic norths - which one is used and what is the declination. Both current, at you location, plus for any point on a map. By default showing declination is switched off and you turn it on in settings > "Compass & Course":


      Please also note that True and Magnetic north switches now have T and M appended in brackets. Having magnetic declination display to YES, where you'll find it? Here is the main screen:

      Top down: you'll see declination δ in the address row. This is a declination at the map center, where red arrow points. Then COMPASS label in the app will now always show COMPASS (M) or COMPASS (T), so you'd always know if magnetic or true north is used. At the bottom there compass accuracy label that is now enhanced by a declination value for the current location.

      Use of declination doesn't require data/internet as values are calculated based onto built in World Magnetic Model.

      Note, that if you are not seeing δ or the map center address on the map, tap on a red arrow button (the one with red arrow and three dots) and pick "Show red arrow details".

      Privacy Policy

        Added a page to the documentation site and also a button to the Feedback screen, so you can explore the Privacy Policy for the app.


        Free/START version user? You can upgrade in the AppStore by tapping here or support the ongoing development with your review or rating by tapping here.

        PRO version owner? Please consider supporting the app and future updates with your review or rating. As easy as tapping here and leaving me few words of a support.

        Friday, September 21, 2018

        Compass 55 for iPhone/iPad version 1.9.4 is out! Siri shortcuts, voice coach, love for magnetic declination!

        On the way to the public iOS 12 optimized releases of Speedometer apps, stopping by Compass 55 release, iOS 12 optimized and with Siri shortcuts! What is new?

        Barometric vertical speed indicator (VSI).


        A new option for the bottom/left panel.

        Gives ability to measure vertical speed based on a built in barometer (present in iPhone 6, iPad Air 2 and later). In iPhone's portrait orientation show a graph, giving a bit of a history view over values:




        In landscape orientation provides an instantaneous VSI scale:

        Units provided are ft/min, meters/min, meters/second. Tap above unit label to set.
        Scales provided are 10x, 100x, 1000x for meters and feet per second, 0.1, 1, 10 for meters/second.

        Use 3 dots button on top or left side to get more information on this panel or switch to a different panel. You can also switch between these small panels by swiping on them left/right in iPhone's portrait orientation and up/down in landscape.

        Please note that as with all barometers, readings will lag a bit (1-3 seconds). I was trying for a day to apply some filters to the readings until I understood that Apple already applies them. So in the end I'm just using the values as they come from Apple.

        Love for magnetic declination

        Making it clear for both true and magnetic norths - which one is used and what is the declination. Both current, at you location, plus for any point on a map. By default showing declination is switched off and you turn it on in settings > "Compass & Course":


        Please also note that True and Magnetic north switches now have T and M appended in brackets. Having magnetic declination display to YES, where you'll find it? Here is the main screen:

        Top down: you'll see declination δ in the address row. This is a declination at the map center, where red arrow points. Then COMPASS label in the app will now always show COMPASS (M) or COMPASS (T), so you'd always now if magnetic or true north is used. At the bottom there compass accuracy label that is now enhanced by a declination value for the current location.

        Use of declination doesn't require data/internet as values are calculated based onto built in World Magnetic Model.

        Voice coach. (PRO)


        When enabled and configured, voice coach will be telling you active track distance and duration as well as current speed and altitude.

        In the current version, voice coach is only running when GPS track is being recorded. This ensures that coach provides exact and reliable information, for app running either in foreground or background.

        App gives a hint if coach is enabled or disabled (by default). When you tap on a MENU button, hint is on top of the "NEW TRACK" button:


        Until you start a new track, this is just a label and to access voice coach configuration you can delve into Advanced Settings > Voice coach.

        Once GPS track recording is running, this hint becomes a button:

        Tapping on it will open voice coach settings:


        You can read more on a coach here: Voice coach.

        Siri shortcuts

          In the current version app allows you to start and stop GPS tracking via Siri shortcuts. 

          How it works? First, let the app donate these shortcuts to Siri by starting and stoping the track first. MENU > NEW TRACK and MENU > STOP TRACK will do. Then visit Siri settings for the app in the iPhone/iPad settings, find the app and pick "Siri & Search". Shortcuts will be first between "SUGGESTED SHORTCUTS". To make them yours, tap on a plus on a row with a shortcut suggestion and record your own voice command for starting and stopping the track.

          From now on you'll be able to start and stop the track via Siri shortcuts and also integrate these shortcuts in the "Shortcuts" app.

          This is just a beginning and all ideas on Siri shortcuts are very welcome!

          Privacy Policy

            Added a page to the documentation site and also a button to the Feedback screen, so you can explore the Privacy Policy for the app.


            This is it for version 1.9.4, I'm back to adding new features for the next version! If you like the app and would not mind supporting it, please review or rate the app. As easy as tapping here and leaving me a few words! Yours, Stan, the dev.